White Blossoms

Mary Louise (Smith) Kennedy

July 8, 1933 ~ June 22, 2022 (age 88)


Thomasville - Mary Louise Smith Kennedy, 88, passed away at her home on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Born July 8, 1933 in Huntsville, Alabama, she was the widow of John Calvin Kennedy and the daughter of Paul L. Smith and Mary Brigman Smith. A teacher for 30 years at Ledford Junior High School, she inspired countless young men and women who made their way through her classroom from 1969 to 1998. “Mrs. Kennedy,” as she was known to some in the Ledford community, retired from Davidson County Schools in 1998, but returned for another year and continued her mentorship of young people until her final days. Mary went back to formal instruction as a tutor at Hayworth Christian School in 2017, one of her most proud achievements in her later years, completing a career of instruction that spanned seven decades.

Though she spent much of her life inside a school building, her love for the beach was well known. Her academic calendar called for her to spend nine months out of the year teaching, and there were many in which she spent the other three at the coast. Sharing a love for sandbars and fishery with her husband, they passed that love of time spent in eastern North Carolina to each generation that succeeded them.

She taught Sunday School nearly her entire adult life and was an active member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Hasty Baptist Church, Oak View Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church, then Hayworth Wesleyan Church and Holly Hill Wesleyan Church. Mother of three, grandmother to nine (and countless other adopted “grandchildren”) and great-grandmother of nine, her role as a matriarchal figure was perhaps her most cherished. “Granny” to all, several of her students began using the name after their time in her classroom concluded. Many started calling her Granny long before they left her class and returned to the school to express their appreciation for her disciplined instruction, but most of all for her loving support.

Mary taught three generations to love Jesus. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren grew up under her mindful watch, surrendering to the call on their lives with her Biblical input. As her favorite scripture passage proclaims in Philippians 1:21, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Her family and friends took solace in knowing she had Heaven to gain.

In addition to her husband, mother and father, she was preceded in death by her brother, Paul Smith; sister-in-law, Frances Edwards; brothers-in-law, Sanford, Joe, Clarence “Buddy” and Albert Kennedy.  Mary is survived by her children, Ken Kennedy and wife, Laura, of High Point; Anne Chaplin and husband, Dale, of Thomasville; Danny Kennedy and wife, Cynthia, of Thomasville; grandchildren, Jennifer Lafargue and husband, Rell, of Brooklyn; Julie Bashar and husband, Chris, of Raleigh; Melody Deang and husband, Jonathan, of Thomasville; Jonathan Ellis and wife, Amanda, of Thomasville; Katie Kennedy; Daniel Kennedy; Kenneth Kennedy and wife, Kate, of Raleigh; Mary Laura Kennedy; Kelly Velasquez and husband, Nathanael, of Thomasville; great-grandchildren, Taylor; Emilia; Sophie; Rell; Max; Isla; Haven; Margo; Eliot. She is also survived by sister Susan Smith Byerly and brothers Ben and Frank Smith. 

A funeral service celebrating Mary’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 27, 2022, at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church with the Rev. Pastor Brian Matherlee and the Rev. Pastor Mark Mullins officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday, June 26th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cumby Family Funeral Service at 1015 Eastchester Drive, High Point.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice at 315 S. Talbert Blvd., Lexington.

Online condolences can be made at www.cumbyfuneral.com. Arrangements by Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 26, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cumby Family Funeral Service (Eastchester Drive)

Funeral Service
June 27, 2022

2:00 PM
Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church (Eastchester Drive)

Interment following funeral service
June 27, 2022

Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery
1393 Hasty School Road
Thomasville, NC

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